Philmont Training Center—2015 Commissioners Week and Week 8

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Commissioners Week at the Philmont Training Center was Week 2: June 15–21. A unit commissioner conference was also offered during Week 8: July 26–August 1. The summer of 2015 was probably one of the wettest on record for northern New Mexico and cottonwood trees were in full bloom—at least during Week 2. As the photos below show, it looked like it snowed in June! The entire ranch was the greenest it has been in well over 10 years and the entire area was very beautiful.

Darlene Sprague and Steve Swain

We had another outstanding week of conferences this year. Special thanks to our excellent faculty. The Council Commissioner was taught by Larry Chase, Miriam Olynick, and Charles A. Morgan III. District Commissioner and Assistant District Commissioner was taught by Dave Fornadel, Dave Lown, and Rick Hillenbrand. The Unit Commissioner faculty was Steve Swain and Darlene Sprague. Effective Roundtables was conducted by George Costigan and Emily Campbell. Advanced Leadership Skills for Administrative Commissioners was taught by Bob Johnston, James D. Libbin, Joe Domino, and Tom Hunsaker. The Week 8 Unit Commissioner conference faculty was Kresha Alvarado and Kandra Dickerson.

The attendance for the 2015 conference is listed below:

Week 2: June 15-21 Students Faculty
Advanced Leadership Skills for Administrative Commissioners 29 4
The Council Commissioner 19 3
District Commissioner and Assistant District Commissioner 31 3
Effective Roundtables 13 2
The Unit Commissioner 11 2
Subtotal 103 14
Week 8: July 26–August 1 Students Faculty
The Unit Commissioner 14 2
Total 117 16

This year we also had a most extraordinary event. The Effective Roundtables conference participants put into practice what they learned and conducted a roundtable for the councils around the Philmont area. The more than 80 attendees who came to find out what a model roundtable was all about included five people from the Great Southwest Council who came out to Philmont to attend and three Philmont Scout Ranch staff members. Attendees loved having the opportunity to see how the different programs split up and covered their programspecific material, and were eager to take back what they saw to their home districts and councils. This was the first time ever that a PTC conference held a roundtable that was open to the neighboring councils.

Tico Perez and Emily Campbell

Another change this year was that the last 45 minutes of each day was used for “end-of-day conferences.” On Monday Darlene Sprague led a session on “Why All the Changes?” Tuesday Rick Hillenbrand gave an update on Commissioner Tools and Larry Chase discussed the new Unit Service Plan. Thursday Bob Johnston asked about “aha!” moments and facilitated open discussion. Friday Tim Acree continued the “aha!” moments discussion and gave a brief overview of the new learning management system. All sessions allowed for interaction and open discussion. Due to the positive response, this concept will likely be continued next year.

A new conference titled Advanced Leadership Skills for Administrative Commissioners was offered this year. A special thanks to the faculty—Bob Johnston, James D. Libbin, Joe Domino, and Tom Hunsaker—who were asked to teach this conference after the unfortunate passing of Johnny Cain, who was to be the lead instructor. They did a phenomenal job of recovering and leading the conference with a very short lead time. The well-received conference covered a number of leadership skills that can be applied to commissioner service, such as relationship building, coaching, and mentoring. To further enhance your leadership skills, plan to attend this course in 2016.

Philmont 2016

Tim Acree speaking at the end-of-day conference

Consider attending nationallevel commissioner training in 2016 and you will be glad you did! Every district and council deserves a welltrained commissioner staff. Commissioners Week at the Philmont Training Center for 2016 will again be Week 2, which is June 12–18.

Week 11, which is August 14–20, will feature a conference titled Key Concepts of Commissioner Service in Scouting’s Second Century, and it will be open to all unit, roundtable, and administrative commissioners.

A new conference titled Delivering Commissioner Service to Changing Communities will be offered, which will focus on the changing demographics of communities and how to provide commissioner service to those communities. More units are being formed in Scouting’s underserved markets and this conference will discuss how to successfully deliver on the mission of Scouting by better understanding the opportunity and challenges that these new units face. Consider this

Of course all of the conferences offered in 2015 will be offered in 2016. Click here to view the 2016 Philmont Training Center brochure. For more information about PTC, click here. Please consider making a personal commitment to attend one of the conferences offered next year. You will not be disappointed!

If you have any questions about commissioner training, please contact Tim Acree, national commissioner support staff chairman for training, at